What is a landing page? And how does it work?

As simple as they sound, landing pages might be a confusing topic for site owners. What qualifies as a landing page and what doesn’t? Is every page you land on a landing page? What about Landing Pages in Google analytics? And, can you optimize them for conversion and search engines? Let’s dive in!

What is a landing page?

In digital marketing, a landing page is a page specifically designed for one purpose: to make a visitor convert. Whether it’s signing up for an event, subscribing to a newsletter, or donating money to a charity; a landing page aims to do just that. Therefore it’s completely focused on a single action. The idea is that this focus and taking away possible distractions increase the chance of a conversion. Marketers typically create these types of pages as part of a marketing campaign.

An example

A nice example of a focused landing page for a campaign is this Red Nose Day landing page of Comic Relief:

The Red Nose Day landing page on the Comic Relief website

The headline immediately conveys the message of this page: Register your school for Red Nose Day 2021. The text on the call-to-action is crystal-clear too. Perhaps a different color would make it stand out a bit more, but still, it’s hard to miss. The page is focused as a result of its clean design and the absence of distractive elements. Moreover, if I’d work at a school the image of the happy little girl would make me want to participate right away.

This screenshot shows what you see above the fold on the desktop version of this site. If you scroll down you’ll find some other elements, like options to donate money or links to explanations where the money goes. You could think of these secondary buttons as distractions, but because they only appear when you scroll down, the first view of the page remains focused on its primary goal: getting schools to register for this event.

How do landing pages work?

Imagine getting an email from a local venue announcing a concert of your favorite band. Woohoo, you’re super excited to get tickets! You click on a link and end up on the homepage of the venue. You start looking for the schedule. When was it again? Maybe better use the search bar? O wait, a banner showing another awesome concert too. Hmmm…Maybe first discuss with your friends which band they’d like to go to?

The internet is full of distractions and landing pages of a marketing campaign try to get rid of all these distractions. In the above example, if you would have ended up on a page purely focused on this concert, providing the necessary details and an eye-catching call-to-action leading to the cart you probably would have purchased the tickets already.

If people click on a campaign link in your newsletter or social media post, you’ve already somehow sparked their interest in your event, charity or, whatever you’re promoting. As they’ve been exposed to the content they’ve clicked on, they probably already have a bit of context on the topic. That’s why they’re likely to be further in a user journey as someone landing on your site from an informational search query in Google. This means chances of conversion (subscribing, getting tickets, or buying something) are higher. So it does make sense to focus on the action of the user. Now you just have to make sure to make this action as easy as possible!

How to optimize them?

When you create a landing page for marketing purposes you first have to decide what you’d want people to do on that page. This shouldn’t be too hard if you have a clear goal for your campaign. In the example above, that would be selling tickets for that concert. If you know your goal, you can start optimizing the page for the target group and add all essential elements that should be on the page.

Essential elements: Inform and convince

Obviously, you should tailor a landing page to give your users what they need and convince them to participate at the same time. Therefore it’s indispensable you know your audience. Nevertheless, some elements are so common you can find them on almost every great landing page. We’ve listed them here for you:

  • a headline that conveys the message: what should the user do here?
  • a call-to-action (CTA) or a short form people can fill in right away
  • some essential details the user would want to know before clicking the CTA
  • visuals: an appealing image or short video (let’s say if you can win a state of the art coffee machine it makes sense to show it)
  • social proof (a quote of a happy user or participant, for instance)
  • in case of a purchase or donation: payment options

Remember: Keep it short and simple! To add more focus to your page you can even get rid of the menu, as it might lead people away from your page. Also, go easy on the links to other pages; they can do the same. If you do need to add links to other pages, consider adding them below the fold. The same counts for any secondary actions, like the donation button on the Red Nose Day page.

Also, don’t forget to test the page. If you build a landing page you’ve likely made some assumptions about what you’re audience needs/wants. Especially with these kinds of pages, focused on conversion, it pays off to A/B test them thoroughly! And, when you’ve built that one awesome landing page, be sure to clone it with the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin and use it as a template for your other landing pages.

Here you’ll find more tips on optimizing your landing pages.

What about Landing Pages in Google Analytics?

Landing pages of a marketing campaign are not to be confused with Landing Pages in Google Analytics. Landing Pages in Google Analytics are just a list of pages on your site that get the most traffic from external sources.

You’ll find Landing Pages in Google Analytics in the Behaviour tab

While a popular marketing landing page as mentioned above could be in this list, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. For instance, in our case, our post on choosing a focus keyword is one of our top Landing Pages in Google Analytics. But it wouldn’t fit the above the description of a landing page. It’s an explainer post helping people with setting the right focus keyphrase on a post they’re writing. It’s an informative post, not aimed at convincing people to sign up for something. People land on this page as they’d like to learn something or need help. Bombarding them with buttons would probably scare them away.

If some of your campaign’s landing pages are in this list, this post on the power of Landing Pages in GA will help you to analyze their performance though!

Landing pages and SEO

Do you want your landing page to rank? I can hear you say: Yes, of course! I want to get as many users as possible on this slick landing page I’ve created and tested! But, don’t forget that a page specifically designed for a campaign which mostly gets visitors from newsletters and social media, might not always be the best fit for searchers in Google.

You’ll have to ask yourself, is this the page people want to find when they’re searching for something? Or, would they like a more extensive article on the topic they’re interested in? Are they ready for subscribing or buying? Or do they have a different search intent? Where are those people in the user journey? As you’ve designed this page to convert, it might not be the best fit, apart from people actually searching for your event, contest, or campaign.

Of course, you can make sure the page is optimized for the exact term of the event. For other terms, it might be harder to rank with a page that is mostly focused on conversion and probably doesn’t have a lot of copy. Placing enough internal links to this page might as well help it rank for the exact term. If you do want to add content to the page, maybe even with links to more information on your site, you can best add it below the fold, as it might prevent people from converting. But again, ask yourself: what exactly is your goal of this page? It might be better to optimize it for one goal only!

Product pages vs. landing pages

One last thing: there’s a lot of overlap between product and landing pages. Some principles definitely apply to both: Both pages should be focused on conversion, with a clear headline, call-to-action, social proof, and probably a nice image or video. But a campaign often has a more temporary character. Also, your product page probably shows more details and maybe even a related products section, making it slightly less focused than a marketing campaign’s landing page. And of course, you’d definitely like your product page (or category page) to rank! If you want to dive into optimizing your product page, go read our post on Product page UX and Product page SEO.

Conclusion

In digital marketing, a landing page is a page designed to trigger a specific action of the user. It’s often created as part of a campaign and aimed at conversion: the page should convince the visitor to subscribe, participate or buy something. Therefore it’s very focused. It’s not to be confused with Landing pages in Google Analytics, which is a list of pages people land on from external sources. Depending on the goal of the page you can try to optimize the page for search engines too, but sometimes it’s better to keep it solely focused on conversion. Whatever you do, think about the goal of your page first!

Good luck with your landing pages. And feel free to drop your questions in the comments.

Read more: How to optimize your landing page »

The post What is a landing page? And how does it work? appeared first on Yoast.

Parent and child pages: Linking hierarchical post types for SEO

When we talk about site structure on WordPress we often focus on blogs post: “Use tags and categories and link to your the best fitting related posts!” But you probably have hierarchical post types on your site too. An example of a hierarchical post type is the Page post type; a page can have parent, child, and sibling pages. Inherently, these pages fit in a certain structure and, with little effort, you can leverage this structure to boost your SEO. Let’s have a look!

Site structure and SEO

A solid site structure is essential for SEO. Users and search engines love content to be findable and well-organized. Therefore, your site should have a clear structure, your menu should reflect this structure and users should easily navigate your site to find what they’re looking for. Navigating often means following links, and just like readers do, search engines follow links. So, in fact, by organizing and connecting your content in a sensible way, you’re able to hit two birds with one stone: please users and search engines.

Internal linking

Smart internal linking leads users and search engines to related content, and ideally, to your best content. For instance, if we write about keyword research tools, it makes sense to link to other posts about keyword research (and not, let’s say, posts about the robots.txt file). Moreover, if we want to keep users engaged and show our expertise, it’s a good idea to link from all these related posts to our best and most complete resource on the topic: our ultimate guide on keyword research.

Doing so, we’ll not only guide readers to this guide but search engines too; as this post gets so many (internal) links, it must be an important post. As a consequence, Google will rank it higher than other topically related posts on your site. We call this a cornerstone strategy. And, in fact, your hierarchical pages offer some great opportunities here!

What is a hierarchical post type?

In a hierarchical post type, you can place posts in a certain hierarchy by selecting a parent page. This often means the parent page covers an overarching theme and groups various child pages that are topically related. A child page can only have one parent page, but a parent page can have multiple child pages. So a child page can have sibling pages on the same level. For instance, on a company website, a Team and Mission page are probably child pages of the About us page. And, in that case, the Team and Mission page are siblings.

Hierarchical vs non-hierarchical

Hierarchical means that there are different levels: the parent page is on top, followed by child pages on a sub-level, which could again be followed by grand-child pages on a sub-sub-level. A non-hierarchical system means that all items are on the same level. You can compare it with the table of content and the index of a book. The table of content structures topics in a hierarchical way. For instance, in a book about big cats:

Big cats

  1. Africa’s big cats
    1. Lion
    2. Leopard
    3. Cheetah
  2. Asia’s big cats
    1. Tiger
    2. etc

While you’ll have an index like:

African savannah p. 33
cheetah p. 10
Himalayan mountains p. 18
lion p. 21
snow leopard p. 12
etc

Both structures will help you find content in a slightly different way. In WordPress, blog posts usually are a non-hierarchical post type; you can’t give them a parent. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t structure these posts! You should definitely organize them by giving them tags and/or categories and interlinking them properly. The main difference here is that you can put non-hierarchical posts in multiple categories and give them various tags, while hierarchical pages will only have one parent per page.

How do you set a parent page?

On a hierarchical post type, you can easily set a parent for your page. In the WordPress block editor, you should go to the settings sidebar and scroll to Page attributes:

Setting the parent of a WordPress page in the post sidebar in the WordPress block editor

Under Parent Page you’ll find a list of pages on your site. Just select the parent page of the page you’re creating and you’re done. If you do this, the hierarchy is reflected in the URL and breadcrumb of the page too: just look at the URL of our About us and Mission page:

https://yoast.com/about-us/
https://yoast.com/about-us/mission/

And the breadcrumb also shows where this page sits on our website:

The breadcrumb of a page shows where the page sits on your site: the Mission page is a child page of About us.

When do you choose an hierarchical post type?

Not all content fits in a hierarchical post type. But some pages, like your About us pages, definitely do; they all fall under one overarching them: About us. But also topical content, for which you’d like to rank, can fit very well.

An example: Let’s say you’re a fan of big cats and you write about them to raise money to support their survival in their natural habitat. One section of your site is dedicated to describing these big cats, which species belong to this group, and giving more details about each one of them. In that case, using hierarchical pages makes sense. You could have:

  • A parent page about all big cats: here you can write about which species belong to the big cats, what they have in common, how they live, why they are such awesome creatures, and a short description of all of them.
    • An African big cats’ page, which tells you everything about the group of big cats originating from Africa: the lion, leopard, and cheetah. This is the child of the big cats’ page. On the same level, you can have two sibling pages: big cats from Asia and big cats from the Americas.
      • Pages about every single species, for instance, the leopard. This parent is the child of the Africa’s big cats’ page and the grandchild of the big cats’ page. It goes into more detail about the single species.

Link your hierarchical posts for users and SEO

As all this content with one parent page is related, it makes sense to connect it! You can do so by internal linking. For instance, you can link from the leopard page to the lion page and the cheetah page. But of course, as you’ll probably mention these species belong to Africa’s big cats, you should link to the parent too. From the parent pages, it also makes sense to link to the child pages; when reading about Africa’s big cats, people probably want to know more about the species belonging to this group.

For search engines, all these links show the connection between your content; they create a sort of cluster and make clear how pages relate to each other. Moreover, all this related content and its context helps search engines to better understand what entities you’re talking about: not Lion the candy bar, but the lion, Africa’s big cat (although that might be quite obvious in this example).

Linking them is easy with Yoast SEO Premium!

Since Yoast SEO 14.5 we have a new feature in Yoast SEO Premium! As you’ve read above, linking hierarchical post types is beneficial for SEO. And linking them is super easy with the block editor in Yoast SEO Premium. We’ve created two blocks:

  • a sub pages block: a block that lists and links the child pages of a page
  • a siblings block : a block that lists and links the siblings of a page

Adding them is super easy: if you create a new block, search for sibling or sub-pages and the blocks will pop-up. In this video, you can see how it works:

Want to have this feature, and loads of other awesome functionalities, like internal linking suggestions or a redirect manager, too?

Get Yoast SEO Premium Only $89 USD (ex VAT)

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What are sponsored, nofollow and ugc links, and why use them?

Links are an important part of SEO. Without links, Google (or other search engines) may not discover your pages, or might not think that they’re important. Sometimes, though, you might want Google not to follow a link. Or you might want to tell them a particular is sponsored, or added to your page by a user. Why’s that? And how do you implement this on your website? Learn all about sponsored, nofollow and ugc links here!

Links and SEO

When you link to another website, search engines may count that as a ‘vote’ for the page you’re linking to. Pages which have many such ‘votes’, from authoritative and trusted websites, may rank higher in the search results as a result (as they, in turn, become more authoritative and trustworthy). That makes links a kind of currency.

That’s why a good SEO strategy should always consider how the types of content, marketing and PR that you do will encourage other websites to link to you. If you’re not already thinking about how your site can earn links from others, our guide to link building tips and tactics is a good place to get inspiration on where to start.

Link building

In the past, but still even today, people try to game the system by buying links. Obviously, that’s not the way to go; Google’s penguins might come after you! That’s why we recommend holistic link building, which boils down to creating great resources for your audience and reaching out to get the word out, eventually leading to more links.

But, what happens if you want to link to a page, without voting for it? And, what stops people from finding ways to cheat the system, such as posting links to their site on your website; on comment forms, forums, or social media profiles?

In these cases, we need to use a special type of link, to tell search engines that it shouldn’t be trusted.

The nofollow attribute

In the early days of SEO, many unscrupulous marketers realised that they could easily get hundreds of links to their pages by leaving spam comments on other blogs, by buying links from webmasters, or from placing links on any site which allowed user-submitted content.

To combat this, in 2005 Google introduced a way to mark a link as untrusted; specifically, a way of saying “don’t follow this link”. By adding a nofollow attribute to your links, they’d no longer count as votes. It also became Google’s policy that any link which is paid for (typically an advert, paid placement, or similar) should use a nofollow attribute to indicate that it shouldn’t affect their ranking calculations.

That’s because paid links are the same as a ‘vote’ for a page. For instance, if someone pays you to put an ad on your website, you might send some visitors to the advertised page or product. Since it’s not a natural endorsement, link value shouldn’t pass on to this particular page; search engines shouldn’t rank it higher because you’ve received some kind of compensation for that link.

This also made it possible to link to a page which you don’t endorse, but you still want to use it as an example in your copy (e.g., “I tried this product, but it was horrible”).

Today, almost all comment systems and social media platforms automatically add a nofollow attribute to user-submitted content.

What does that look like?

Let’s take a closer look at a link. In HTML, a plain link looks like this: <a href="https://www.example.com">example link</a>. You probably use these types of links a lot throughout your content. You use them to point readers to interesting, related content on your own site or someone else’s website.

If you want to indicate that you don’t trust the site you’re linking to, or that it’s a paid placement, including the nofollow attribute would look like this: <a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">example link</a>.

Internal links

So far, we’ve only considered whether external links should be nofollow’d. In some cases, it might also make sense to mark an internal link with a nofollow attribute. In Yoast SEO, we automatically add a nofollow attribute to internal links which point to your login or registration pages. This prevents Google from wasting resources crawling and evaluating those pages.

Nofollow doesn’t always mean “don’t follow”

It’s important to understand that most search engines treat nofollow as a ‘hint’, and might follow them whilst still ‘devaluing’ them. An announcement from Google in September 2019 clarified this:

Links contain valuable information that can help us improve search, such as how the words within links describe the content they point at. Looking at all the links we encounter can also help us better understand unnatural linking patterns. By shifting to a hint model, we no longer lose this important information, while still allowing site owners to indicate that some links shouldn’t be given the weight of a first-party endorsement.

Danny Sullivan, Google

What are sponsored and ugc links?

In September 2019, Google announced two new types of link attribute. It’s now possible to mark links as sponsored or ugc (short for ‘user-generated content), as well as nofollow. They explained that:

  • The sponsored attribute should be used to identify links which are specifically the result of paid placement; e.g., sponsored placements, advertorials, paid links, and similar.
  • The ugc attribute should be used to identify links which are created by users (e.g., author links in a comment form), which therefore aren’t necessarily trusted or endorsed by the page’s author.

In both cases, these work similarly to the original nofollow attribute – they tell Google note to count the link as a ‘vote’. We don’t know precisely how Google uses this data internally, but they’ve hinted that it’ll help them understand more about the link. That might improve how they count ‘votes’ and evaluate pages.

What does that look like?

That means that we have four different types of HTML markup for links:

  • A normal link, with no rel attribute
  • A nofollow link: <a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow">example link</a>
  • A sponsored link: <a href="https://www.example.com" rel="sponsored">example link</a>
  • A user-generated content link: <a href="https://www.example.com" rel="ugc">example link/a>

Combining attributes

Whilst each of these attributes describe different types of links, it’s possible to combine various rel attributes in one link. For instance, a sponsored and nofollow attribute can exist in one link: <a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow sponsored">example link</a>.

This is useful, because not all search engines support the two new rel attributes, so it’s best practice to use the nofollow attribute along with the sponsored and ugc attribute.

So, now you know what these links and rel attributes look like. But why and when should you use them?

When should you use which attribute?

The sponsored attribute

An advertisement or link you get paid for or in any other way should use the sponsored attribute. The reasoning behind this is that Google sees links to a page as an endorsement; you link to an article because it’s a valuable resource you’d like to point your users to. When you get paid to place a reference to another website your motivation is different. It might be something you wouldn’t link to without compensation. With the sponsored attribute Google can differentiate these “unnatural links” from normal links.

As other search engines won’t recognise this sponsored attribute (yet), we do recommend to add the nofollow attribute to this type of link as well.

The UGC attribute

You should use the ugc attribute whenever users of your website are able to create content or links on it; e.g., in the comment section on your site. If you’re on WordPress, there’s no need to worry about this attribute; WordPress automatically adds a ugc attribute, as well as a nofollow attribute – a specific request from our team – to the links in the comment section on your site.

The nofollow attribute

As not all search engines support the sponsored or ugc attribute (yet) you should still add the nofollow attribute to both these type of links as well.

Creating sponsored or nofollow links in WordPress

While this might sound a bit complicated when you’re not an HTML native, qualifying links is simple with the WordPress block editor and Yoast SEO. Since Yoast SEO 14.4 we’ve added an option to easily add a sponsored or nofollow attribute to a link in your content.

If you want to nofollow a link or qualify it as sponsored (and nofollow at the same time), click on the link icon, paste your link and you’ll see these options:

Adjust a link setting in Yoast SEO: add nofollow or sponsored to you link with a slider

Select the option of your choice by moving the slider and you’re done!

Rather watch a video? Check this out:

You’ll find more about this on our help page on link settings. Good luck!

Read more: Do outbound links matter for SEO? »

The post What are sponsored, nofollow and ugc links, and why use them? appeared first on Yoast.

10 years of Yoast and SEO: Webinar recap

Last Friday, May 29th, Yoast celebrated its 10th anniversary, and we invited everyone to join us! And what better way to celebrate than with an awesome, interactive webinar? We had multiple talks, Q&As, live site reviews, all with loads of SEO tips, insights and practical advice. Of course, we understand that not everyone could join the live webinar. So, here’s a quick recap of the sessions, plus the links to all the videos, so you don’t have to miss out!

Wondering what you’ll learn from the talks in this webinar? Here’s an example of someone’s takeaway from one of the sessions:

Pretty cool, right? Here are all the videos, so let’s dive right in!

Joost on 10 years of SEO for everyone

Remember what your world looked like in 2010? Joost takes you on a trip down memory lane and shows you some highlights of the past 10 years. What did Google (literally) look like back then? And how did this search engine evolve? But also: what didn’t change? Lots of advice we gave 10 years ago, still stands today. How’s that possible? Joost walks you through 10 years of Google and Yoast!
Plus, if you want to have a peek at Joost’s first official Yoast desk in his attic 10 years ago, you need to watch this video:

Marieke on the importance of readability

In this talk, Marieke explains why we feel readability is important for both your users and your SEO. She gives a few useful tips to improve the readability of your text and gives an insight into the readability analysis of our plugin. So, are you curious about why we would not recommend our plugin to literary heroes such as Dickens and Shakespeare? And what we site owners can all learn from children’s books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Watch the video to find out:

Three parallel live site reviews

Live site review – Technical SEO

Ever wanted to see how experts pick apart websites to offer advice on technical SEO? Here’s your chance! Joost de Valk and Jono Alderson tackle three websites — a horse ranch in the US, a shop making artisan leather bags and a self-help site —, and come up with a boatload of tips to improve these sites. You’ll get insights into international SEO, crawling, site structure, taxonomies, schema improvements and a lot more. Go check it out!

Live site review – User experience (UX)

What do clear call-to-actions, readable fonts, an intuitive design, useful videos, and high-quality copy all have in common? They’re essential for an excellent user experience on your site. In this webinar, Michiel, Thijs, Annelieke, and Judith walk you through a couple of websites and point out some common UX issues that happen on many sites and which you’d want to prevent on yours. Of course, they’ll highlight the great things about these websites too! In need of some examples of what (not) to do when it comes to the usability of your site? Check this out:

Live site review – SEO copywriting

During this review, Marieke, Willemien, Edwin and Fleur, discuss the content of a few different sites. And although the feedback they give is specific to these sites, these can be very helpful for any site owner out there. So watch their review if you want to know why it’s so important to keep a goal in mind while you write, how site structure can help your visitors and what our opinion is on stock photos:

Jono on how to use schema to build your brand and boost authority

Our resident SEO wizard Jono Alderson has been advocating the use of schema structured data for over 10 years. Over the years, structured data has been getting more and more important, but not really easier to implement — although the results of implementing it can get you great rewards. But why is Google pushing this so hard? And how does the Yoast SEO schema structured data framework fit into this story? Listen to Jono explain why this next frontier is now within reach for everyone. You can also learn how Yoast SEO makes implementing structured data a whole lot easier.

That’s it for this webinar – stay tuned!

That’s it for this recap! We hope you enjoyed it and got some great takeaways for your site; we really had an awesome time with all of you! This definitely won’t be our last webinar, so keep an eye on Yoast.com, social media, or just sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know!

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Audience research with Els Aerts: Pro tips to get started

Proper audience research is key in maintaining and growing your customer base. So, how do you go about doing this research and how do you make sure you ask the right questions? We asked expert Els Aerts, partner at AGConsult, to walk us through the process and give us a few tips on how to get started with audience research and surveying. Els, the floor is yours!

Why research your audience?

Els: “Let’s be honest, you probably assume you know your audience quite well. There’s no shame in admitting it, a lot of companies do. That’s because you might know socio-demographic information such as their age, gender, and location. But, does this actually tell us who these people are?”

Get to know your customer like never before

Els stresses that socio-demographics are valuable, but the age of your customers does not tell you why they’re interested in your service. Or what problem your product solves for them. It also doesn’t give you insight into their objections or concerns. Or what might be holding them back from buying (more) from you. She states: “If you want to connect with your audience, you need to know a whole lot more about them. And proper audience research can help you with that.”

Where to start with your audience research?

Before you start your research, Els advises to ask yourself this question: What problem do I want to solve? The answer will help you determine what type of research to conduct. And, who among your audience is able to give you relevant insights into this issue. Often enough, this will help you shape your questions and what part of your audience to reach out to. For example, don’t send a survey about your onboarding process to people that have been your customer for over three years. These people don’t remember what your onboarding was like and can’t help you optimize this specific process.

Choose your method wisely

Els: “When you’ve determined what part of your audience to research, it’s time to choose a method. Of course, this is dependent on a few factors, such as the problem you want to solve, your product or service, and the size of your audience. But for most businesses, a cheap and easy way to get started is an online survey. There are loads of tools that can help you set up an online survey at a very low price (or for free, yay!). You can post a survey on your website or in your app, by using a tool such as Hotjar or Zoho Page Sense. Or you can send it to people via email or social channels with a tool such as SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo.”

When you need to dig deeper, she suggests conducting personal interviews and user testing: “These one-on-one interactions provide you with context and a more profound understanding of your customers. Interviews are also the way to go if you haven’t got that many customers yet. Mainly because an online survey might not provide you with enough input when the number of participants is limited. In that case, you can collect valuable information about your audience through personal interviews.”

Let’s formulate some questions

The next step is formulating the right questions to ask your audience. And you probably have tons of questions you would love to ask them. How to select which ones to ask? Els advises taking a moment to think back to the question you asked yourself before starting your research: What problem do you want to solve? 

“If there are any problem areas you want to address, focus on those first. For example, if you have a problem with churn rate, research your existing customers. If the acquisition is the issue, reach out to potential customers in your audience. Your problem area will guide you in who you should approach and what questions you should ask.”

There’s no such thing as a stupid question, right?

Unfortunately, although always aiming to help, Els can’t provide you with a ready-made list of questions to ask your audience. She can, however, tell you what questions will not get you the results you’re looking for:

  • Leave out any questions in which you ask people to predict the future. An example: “would you use our app more regularly if we introduced feature x, y or z?” Asking your audience to predict their future behavior is asking to be lied to. 
  • Don’t ask questions about a too distant past. Human memory can be unreliable at times. And, even if people can’t really remember something correctly, they want to be helpful. So they might make stuff up, which in fact, doesn’t help you at all. 
  • Get rid of all questions in which you’re asking someone’s opinion. An example: “How attractive do you think our design is, on a scale from 1 to 10?”. What will you do if your design scores a 7? And how is that different from an 8 or 6? Ask yourself how this information will help your business. 
  • Try to avoid framing or phrasing your questions in a way that leads to biased answers. An example: “How fast would you say our customer service response time is on a scale from 1 to 10?” It might seem a perfectly neutral question, but by using the word fast you’re pretty much suggesting it as an answer. Either use both the positive and negative versions of an adjective in your question or leave it out altogether. 

Summary: how to set up your audience research

Proper audience research is essential in growing and maintaining your customer base. So, how do you make sure the research you conduct gets you the answers you need? Always start by asking yourself the question: what problem do I want to solve? This will help you choose the right audience and research method. An online survey is a cheap and easy way to get started, but if you want to dive deeper Els recommends doing personal interviews or user testing. To formulate your questions, keep the problem you want to solve in mind. And, try not to include any questions in which you ask people to predict their future behavior, questions about a distant past, questions in which you ask their opinion or questions that can lead to biased answers. 

You’re all caught up now, and ready to start your audience research. We wish you lots of luck and plenty of valuable input on all your future surveys and interviews. Thank you, Els, for sharing your knowledge and experience in this interview!

About Els Aerts: Els has been creating better online experiences based on user research since 2001. She’s the co-founder of AGConsult, a Belgium-based usability, and conversion optimization company. She loves helping companies understand their customers better. Because knowing what makes your customers tick, drives growth. 

Read more: An introduction to user research »

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How to install a WordPress plugin

Plugins are pieces of software you can add to your WordPress site. They can change or improve the functionality of your website in various ways. For instance, you can install plugins to easily build forms, optimize your site for search engines or improve the security of your site. As a WordPress user, you’ll surely need to install a plugin at some point. So, how do you do that? We’ll guide you through that process here!

From the plugin directory or manually

There are two ways to install plugins on your website. You can either install a plugin from the WordPress plugin directory or upload a plugin you have downloaded from a third-party. Free and approved plugins, such as Yoast SEO, are featured in the WordPress plugin directory. Installing those is super easy, as you’ll see below. Installing paid plugins, such as Yoast SEO Premium, works a bit differently but isn’t hard either. Let’s get to it!

Want to install a Yoast plugin? Check out How to install Yoast SEO or How to install Yoast SEO Premium, or take a look at the complete overview of installation guides for our plugins.

How to install a plugin from the WordPress directory

Let’s start with installing a plugin from the WordPress directory. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Access the WordPress plugin directory

    In the WordPress backend, go to the admin menu. Hover over the Plugins menu item, and select Add New from the fly-out menu. The WordPress plugin directory will appear.

  2. Find the plugin you want

    Use the filter tabs in the toolbar, or search for plugins by typing in a keyword, author, or tag in the search box.

  3. Check the quality of the plugin

    Each plugin is featured in a box with basic information. A good quality plugin will have good reviews, a high number of active installations, frequent updates, and it will be compatible with your version of WordPress.

  4. Install the plugin

    Click the Install Now button in the plugin box. Once the installation is complete, the Activate button will replace the Install button. In addition, the plugin will appear on the Installed Plugins screen.

  5. Activate the plugin

    Clicking Activate is crucial for the plugin to work. You can activate the plugin in the plugin box by clicking the Activate button when the installation is complete. Alternatively, you can click the Activate link in the Plugins overview screen.

Prefer a video? Check out the video below to find out how to install a plugin, in this case Yoast SEO:

New to WordPress? Don’t worry! Our FREE WordPress for beginners training is here to help. Find out how to set up your own site, learn the ins and outs of creating and maintaining it, and more. This training is part of our free training subscription, take a look at all online SEO training subscriptions!

How to upload a WordPress plugin manually

The WordPress plugin directory shows a lot of plugins, but it does not have all of them. You can also find some cool plugins on third-party sites. We also offer some premium plugins, for example, Yoast SEO Premium. But no worries, you can still easily add these plugins to WordPress. To upload a plugin to WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Download the plugin from the third-party site
    Note that you will need to download the plugin in a .zip format. Otherwise, the upload may fail. If the plugin is not available for download in that format, contact the plugin provider.
  2. Access the WordPress plugin directory
    In your site’s backend, go to the admin menu. Hover over the Plugins menu item, and select. Add New from the fly-out menu. The WordPress plugin directory will appear.
  3. Upload the plugin
    In the WordPress plugin directory, click the Upload Plugin button at the top of the screen. A new option will appear to add a file. Click the Choose file button, which will trigger a dialogue box to open. Find and select the file from your computer and click Open.
  4. Install the plugin
    Click the Install Now button, and the plugin will be installed.
  5. Activate the plugin
    Remember, you always need to activate a plugin after installing it. Go to your plugins overview, locate the plugin, and click the Activate link.

That’s it. Now go ahead and get that plugin you were looking for!

Read more: How to use WordPress: 12 common questions »

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Help, I’ve accidentally noindexed a post. What to do?

It can happen to anyone: You’re working on your site, fiddling on some posts here and there, and hit update when you’re done. After a while, you check back on how a post is doing and, to your dismay, it disappeared completely from the search engines! It turns out you’ve accidentally set a post or page to noindex on your site. Here, we’ll share a – pretty funny – story about how it happened to us, and what to do if you’ve made a similar mistake.

How to unintentionally noindex a post

Let’s start with a short story. We have a post called Noindex a post in WordPress, the easy way on yoast.com. In this post, we – surprise, surprise – explain how to noindex a post with Yoast SEO in WordPress. To show how easy that is, we added some screenshots of setting a post to noindex. A picture says more than a thousand words, right?

setting a post to noindex with Yoast SEO
Some of the copy and the screenshot in the ‘How to noindex a post’ post

Now, we’ll reveal a little secret. Oftentimes, when we want to illustrate a certain feature of Yoast SEO, we’ll just take a screenshot of that feature in the post we’re working on. So, in this case, we went to the Advanced tab in the Yoast SEO meta box, clicked No in the dropdown, took a screenshot, and added the screenshot to our post. We checked the copy we’ve written, added images, checked the SEO and readability scores and previewed our post. All looked fine, so we hit publish, shared it on social and in our newsletter and went on with other tasks.

Sometime later, we were checking how our content performed on the query [how to noindex a post] in Google. Surprisingly, we didn’t encounter this article, while we were pretty sure we already had a post like this. We started looking for it in our post overview, and there it was! Waiting in vain for visitors to learn more about this handy feature of Yoast SEO.

So, while we were happily typing away, making sure people understand what this feature is about, we forgot one thing… removing the noindex from this post. Therefore, accidentally and ironically, we’ve set our post about setting posts to noindex to… noindex.

How to reverse noindexing a post

In our case, reverting the noindex on that post wasn’t very difficult. The post, although it describes a nifty feature of Yoast SEO, wasn’t crucial for our business. Therefore, we decided to just remove the noindex and republish and share it again. But there’s more you can do; the options to get your article back in the search engines are listed here below. Depending on the severity of the issue you can choose to follow all steps or select some of them.

1. Remove the noindex tag

This is an essential step. You can easily remove the noindex tag by Google and other search engines in the Advanced tab of the Yoast SEO meta box. Just click on Yes here and you’ve removed the noindex tag:

Remove the noindex tag in the Yoast SEO meta box

In the search appearance section, you can set multiple posts or pages on your site to noindex. If you did that by accident or forgot to reverse that after temporarily setting it to noindex, you can set it to index again there too:

Remove the noindex tag on a post type in the Search appearance section of Yoast SEO

If you’ve added a meta robots tag in the code to noindex your post, please remove it from the code. There’s no need to set it to index though since that is the default value when nothing is set.

2. Google Search Console is your friend

If you’ve accidentally noindexed a valuable post or maybe even an important part of your website, there are some things you can do to make Google retrieve your content faster. Google Search Console can help you do this. So if you didn’t sign up for Google Search Console yet, now’s the time to do it. Yoast SEO will help you to verify your site, as you can read in this guide on how to add your site to Google Search Console.

Request for reindexing of a URL

In the URL Inspection Tool of Google Search Console there’s an option to ask Google to crawl or recrawl a URL. This might speed up the process and allows you to follow the progress. There is a quota for submitting individual URLs with this tool. So, if you’ve noindexed (a part of) your site it might be wise to select the posts or pages that are most crucial for your business and request to index those again.

Resubmit your XML sitemap

Another option is to resubmit your XML sitemap in Google Search Console. If you’re using Yoast SEO you don’t have to worry about this though. In that case, when you publish or update content on your site, Yoast SEO automatically pings Google with your sitemap.

If you didn’t submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console yet, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to submitting your XML sitemap to GSC here.

3. Republish and share it again

Lastly, you can share the reindexed content in your newsletter, on social and other marketing channels. This way, you’ll generate some traffic and exposure, especially if other people start sharing it too. In case of a blog post, you can republish it on your blog. If it considers important pages of your site quickly thinking up a campaign and publishing new blog posts that link to the reindexed content could also help to get the initial traffic and rankings back.

It’s not the end of the world

Finding out you’ve accidentally set a post or even (parts of) your site might give you a big scare. But, fortunately, it’s not the end of the world and there are various things you can do to get it back in the search engines again. Depending on the size of the issue and the frequency your site gets crawled, it will take some time to recover, but eventually, it probably will.

Now, let’s hope I haven’t accidentally set anything to noindex when creating this post…

Read more: The ultimate guide to the meta robots tag »

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Yoast SEO 12.5.1: Patch release for time-offset issue

Today, we’re releasing Yoast SEO 12.5.1. It contains a patch to make sure the publication date of your posts is picked up correctly by Google, so the right time will be shown in the search results. Currently, the time shown in the results might differ from the actual publication time, depending on the time zone you’re in. This patch release is mostly important for news sites, as on these sites the exact timing of the article matters the most.

What’s the issue?

If you’ve updated to WordPress 5.3 and published a number of new posts, you might have seen an incorrect publication time of your article in the search results. This issue is caused by a faulty time offset, which might be originating from Yoast SEO (Premium) and/or WordPress 5.3.

A lot of work went into WordPress 5.3 to update the way it handles dates and times. Unfortunately, this change was not without issue. Both Yoast SEO 12.5 as well as WordPress 5.3 have a bug which leads to outputting a slightly offset publishing time.

The WordPress issue will be fixed in WordPress 5.3.1. We thought it best to push out an update for our plugins as soon as possible. So if you update to Yoast SEO 12.5.1 the issue will be fixed, even if you’re still on WordPress 5.3. Our News SEO plugin already had everything in order, so this was unaffected by this issue.

For which kind of sites is this patch release important?

The exact publication time of an article isn’t crucial for most sites. If your site is a news site though, bringing the latest news on hot topics, you probably want to show in the search results that your article is the most recent article on that topic. If this applies to your site, we’d recommend updating it to Yoast SEO (Premium) 12.5.1. If you have another type of site, feel free to update as well, as it’s always best to have the latest version of our software running on your site. 

TLDR;

If you have a news site we recommend to update to Yoast SEO 12.5.1.

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What is link building?

Link building is an essential aspect of SEO. You can write the perfect post, but if search engines can’t follow at least one link to it, it will most likely spend its days forever waiting in vain for visitors to admire its outstanding content. For Google to find your post, it needs links from other websites. The more links, the better. But, beware, the quality of links does matter! Not every link is worth the same. Even worse: some links could negatively affect your site. Here, we’ll explain how link building works. We’ll also guide you to more in-depth articles if you want to learn how to do it well.

Before we dive in, if you want to learn more about link building strategies and other essential SEO skills, you should check out our All-around SEO training! It doesn’t just tell you about SEO: it makes sure you know how to put these skills into actual practice!!

What is a link?

Simply put, a link, or a hyperlink, is a connection between two pages on the internet. With a link you can refer people to a page, post, image or other object on the internet. Links exist for people in the first place: with a link you can easily “travel” from one web location to another.

But links serve search engines well too; search engine robots follow links to discover pages on the internet. This is called crawling. For a robot to find your website, you’ll need at least one hyperlink to it from a website that gets crawled already. Making sure you get that first link is one of the things you really need to do when you launch a brand new website.

A link in HTML

In the coding language HTML, a hyperlink looks like this:

<a href=”https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/”>Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress</a>.

The first part contains the URL you’re linking to. In this case, it’s the URL of the Yoast SEO plugin page (https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/). The second part (Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress) shows the clickable text that you’d see on the page. We call this piece of text the ‘anchor text’.

Anchor text

The anchor text serves two purposes: it should describe what the linked page is about and it should entice people to click. If a link has a well-crafted anchor text, this has two advantages: 1) More people click on it, leading to more direct traffic and 2) It will help search engines understand what your page is about, possibly leading to more traffic from search engines. Of course, you can’t control how others link to your site, but you can use it to improve your internal links.

What is link building?

Link building refers to the marketing efforts to get links from other websites to your website. It’s seen as one of the most powerful tools to achieve higher rankings for your site in search engines. If a lot of high-quality links lead to a certain page, search engines will consider it a popular or meaningful article, and, therefore, they’ll rank it higher.

Link quality

Links aren’t all equal. Some links are worth more than others. For instance, a link from an authoritative website, preferably topically related to yours, is worth more than a random link from a small website nobody knows. So, if you have a restaurant, you’d rather get a link from a restaurant review (on topic) on The Guardian website (high authority), than, let’s say, a link from your aunt’s horseback-riding school website. This makes choosing sites you’d love to get links from easier, but at the same time, it makes it a lot harder to get those coveted high-quality links.

Shady techniques

Because link building isn’t easy, lots of shady link building methods emerged in the past. People tried to game the system, for instance, by buying links from link farms. That’s why link building has got a somewhat nasty reputation.

Consequently, Google intervened with serious penalties as a result. If your site gets linked to from websites with a questionable reputation, it can completely disappear from the search results. So you better refrain from any of these risky link building tricks. If you play it fair and smart though, you can gain a lot from link building.

What should you do to get links?

Now we get to the million dollar question: what should you do to get those valuable links? We believe in a holistic link building approach. You’ll have to create a website that people want to link to. It sounds so simple: Create high-quality, funny, original or exceptional content people want to share. But how do you do this?

First and foremost, find out who your audience is. Who are you trying to reach with your content? What kind of content do they need? What information are they looking for and what kind of questions do they ask? Which words do they use? And, what kind of websites do they visit?

If you can answer these questions, it will be easier to create content that fits your audience’s needs (for instance, by using the principles of content design). Also, when you’ve created that page with valuable content for your audience, and you know where your audience is (which websites they visit), you’ll have a starting point for your link building activities: you can start reaching out to those website owners. That’s what link building is, in a nutshell: Sharing your article with parties that might be interested in sharing it too. That’s why it’s key to target the right niche for your shop or blog. This focus decreases the number of people you’ll have to contact and increases the chances of actually getting a link.

People will only link from their website to yours if it’s in their audience’s (or their own) interest. Convincing them to link will only happen if your product or content really is exceptional. Offering them to try or use your product (if you have one) for free might help convince them. And always make sure to contact them personally, as this will lead to better results. Read all about this process in our step by step guide to link building.

Link building for bloggers and pros

Link building requires time, effort and persistence. As a blogger, you might dread link building even more. If you can relate to this, Caroline’s post on her struggles with link building as a blogger is a great read.

Have your bases covered and want to take it a step further? Then we’d advise you to read this article with advanced link building tips by Kris Jones. You’ll learn which tools you can use to find out which sites already link to you and what you can do to get more of those. Find out everything about broken link building, reclamation link building, the so-called skyscraper technique and more.

Pssst… if reaching out really isn’t your thing, you can always start with some “internal link building”: fix your internal linking structure!

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What’s technical SEO? 8 technical aspects everyone should know

An SEO Basics post about technical SEO might seem like a contradiction in terms. Nevertheless, some basic knowledge about the more technical side of SEO can mean the difference between a high ranking site and a site that doesn’t rank at all. Technical SEO isn’t easy, but here we’ll explain – in layman’s language – which aspects you should (ask your developer to) pay attention to when working on the technical foundation of your website.

What is technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages in the search engines. Making a website faster, easier to crawl and understandable for search engines are the pillars of technical optimization. Technical SEO is part of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving elements on your website to get higher rankings. It’s the opposite of off-page SEO, which is about generating exposure for a website through other channels.

Why should you optimize your site technically?

Google and other search engines want to present their users with the best possible results for their query. Therefore, Google’s robots crawl and evaluate web pages on a multitude of factors. Some factors are based on the user’s experience, like how fast a page loads. Other factors help search engine robots grasp what your pages are about. This is what, amongst others, structured data does. So, by improving technical aspects you help search engines crawl and understand your site. If you do this well, you might be rewarded with higher rankings or even rich results.

It also works the other way around: if you make serious technical mistakes on your site, they can cost you. You wouldn’t be the first to block search engines entirely from crawling your site by accidentally adding a trailing slash in the wrong place in your robots.txt file.

But it’s a misconception you should focus on technical details of a website just to please search engines. A website should work well – be fast, clear and easy to use – for your users in the first place. Fortunately, creating a strong technical foundation often coincides with a better experience for both users and search engines.

What are the characteristics of a technically optimized website?

A technically sound website is fast for users and easy to crawl for search engine robots. A proper technical setup helps search engines to understand what a site is about and it prevents confusion caused by, for instance, duplicate content. Moreover, it doesn’t send visitors, nor search engines, into dead-end streets by non-working links. Here, we’ll shortly go into some important characteristics of a technically optimized website.

1. It’s fast

Nowadays, web pages need to load fast. People are impatient and don’t want to wait for a page to open. In 2016 already, research showed that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t open within three seconds. So if your website is slow, people get frustrated and move on to another website, and you’ll miss out on all that traffic.

Google knows slow web pages offer a less than optimal experience. Therefore they prefer web pages that load faster. So, a slow web page also ends up further down the search results than its faster equivalent, resulting in even less traffic.

Wondering if your website is fast enough? Read how to easily test your site speed. Most tests will also give you pointers on what to improve. We’ll guide you through common site speed optimization tips here.

2. It’s crawlable for search engines

Search engines use robots to crawl or spider your website. The robots follow links to discover content on your site. A great internal linking structure will make sure that they’ll understand what the most important content on your site is.

But there are more ways to guide robots. You can, for instance, block them from crawling certain content if you don’t want them to go there. You can also let them crawl a page, but tell them not to show this page in the search results or not to follow the links on that page.

Robots.txt file

You can give robots directions on your site by using the robots.txt file. It’s a powerful tool, which should be handled carefully. As we mentioned in the beginning, a small mistake might prevent robots from crawling (important parts of) your site. Sometimes, people unintentionally block their site’s CSS and JS files in the robot.txt file. These files contain code that tells browsers what your site should look like and how it works. If those files are blocked, search engines can’t find out if your site works properly.

All in all, we recommend to really dive into robots.txt if you want to learn how it works. Or, perhaps even better, let a developer handle it for you!

The meta robots tag

The robots meta tag is a piece of code that you won’t see on the page as a visitor. It’s in the source code in the so-called head section of a page. Robots read this section when finding a page. In it, they’ll find information about what they’ll find on the page or what they need to do with it.

If you want search engine robots to crawl a page, but to keep it out of the search results for some reason, you can tell them with the robots meta tag. With the robots meta tag, you can also instruct them to crawl a page, but not to follow the links on the page. With Yoast SEO it’s easy to noindex or nofollow a post or page. Learn for which pages you’d want to do that.

Read more: https://yoast.com/what-is-crawlability/

3. It doesn’t have (many) dead links

We’ve discussed that slow websites are frustrating. What might be even more annoying for visitors than a slow page, is landing on a page that doesn’t exist at all. If a link leads to a non-existing page on your site, people will encounter a 404 error page. There goes your carefully crafted user experience!

What’s more, search engines don’t like to find these error pages either. And, they tend to find even more dead links than visitors encounter because they follow every link they bump into, even if it’s hidden.

Unfortunately, most sites have (at least) some dead links, because a website is a continuous work in progress: people make things and break things. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you retrieve dead links on your site. Read about those tools and how to solve 404 errors.

To prevent unnecessary dead links, you should always redirect the URL of a page when you delete it or move it. Ideally, you’d redirect it to a page that replaces the old page. With Yoast SEO Premium, you can easily make redirects yourself. No need for a developer!

Read more: https://yoast.com/what-is-a-redirect/

4. It doesn’t confuse search engines with duplicate content

If you have the same content on multiple pages of your site – or even on other sites – search engines might get confused. Because, if these pages show the same content, which one should they rank highest? As a result, they might rank all pages with the same content lower.

Unfortunately, you might have a duplicate content issue without even knowing it. Because of technical reasons, different URLs can show the same content. For a visitor, this doesn’t make any difference, but for a search engine it does; it’ll see the same content on a different URL.

Luckily, there’s a technical solution to this issue. With the so-called, canonical link element you can indicate what the original page – or the page you’d like to rank in the search engines – is. In Yoast SEO you can easily set a canonical URL for a page. And, to make it easy for you, Yoast SEO adds self-referencing canonical links to all your pages. This will help prevent duplicate content issues that you’d might not even be aware of.

5. It’s secure

A technically optimized website is a secure website. Making your website safe for users to guarantee their privacy is a basic requirement nowadays. There are many things you can do to make your (WordPress) website secure, and one of the most crucial things is implementing HTTPS.

HTTPS makes sure that no-one can intercept the data that’s sent over between the browser and the site. So, for instance, if people log in to your site, their credentials are safe. You’ll need a so-called SSL certificate to implement HTTPS on your site. Google acknowledges the importance of security and therefore made HTTPS a ranking signal: secure websites rank higher than unsafe equivalents.

You can easily check if your website is HTTPS in most browsers. On the left hand side of the search bar of your browser, you’ll see a lock if it’s safe. If you see the words “not secure” you (or your developer) have some work to do!

Read more: SEO Basics: What is HTTPS?

6. Plus: it has structured data

Structured data helps search engines understand your website, content or even your business better. With structured data you can tell search engines, what kind of product you sell or which recipes you have on your site. Plus, it will give you the opportunity to provide all kinds of details about those products or recipes.

Because there’s a fixed format (described on Schema.org) in which you should provide this information, search engines can easily find and understand it. It helps them to place your content in a bigger picture. Here, you can read a story about how it works and how Yoast SEO helps you with that.

Implementing structured data can bring you more than just a better understanding by search engines. It also makes your content eligible for rich results; those shiny results with stars or details that stand out in the search results.

7. Plus: It has an XML sitemap

Simply put, an XML sitemap is a list of all pages of your site. It serves as a roadmap for search engines on your site. With it, you’ll make sure search engines won’t miss any important content on your site. The XML sitemap is often categorized in posts, pages, tags or other custom post types and includes the number of images and the last modified date for every page.

Ideally, a website doesn’t need an XML sitemap. If it has an internal linking structure which connects all content nicely, robots won’t need it. However, not all sites have a great structure, and having an XML sitemap won’t do any harm. So we’d always advise having an XML site map on your site.

8. Plus: International websites use hreflang

If your site targets more than one country or countries where the same language is spoken, search engines need a little help to understand which countries or language you’re trying to reach. If you help them, they can show people the right website for their area in the search results.

Hreflang tags help you do just that. You can define for a page which country and language it is meant for. This also solves a possible duplicate content problem: even if your US and UK site show the same content, Google will know it’s written for a different region.

Optimizing international websites is quite a specialism. If you’d like to learn how to make your international sites rank, we’d advise taking a look at our Multilingual SEO training.

Want to learn more about this?

So this is technical SEO in a nutshell. It’s quite a lot already, while we’ve only scratched the surface here. There’s so much more to tell about the technical side of SEO! If you want to take a deep-dive into technical SEO, we’d advise our Technical SEO training or Structured data training. With these courses, you’ll learn how to create a solid technical foundation for your own website.

PS You’re the ambitious type? Get both training courses together and save $59!

Read more: https://yoast.com/wordpress-seo/

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